Setting the default NumLock state in Windows at logon time

My current client has a large number of user accounts with names that are mostly numerical. We discovered that, no matter what the BIOS settings were, NumLock is off by default in the Log On to Windows dialog; however, it is possible to change this as described in Microsoft knowledge base article 154529.

3 thoughts on “Setting the default NumLock state in Windows at logon time


  1. There are actually TWO distinct places for Windows to remember the state of the keyboard indicators. One is before logon, the other is after logon.
    According to Microsoft to change the default settings requires using the Registry Editor. This is only true if you want to change the default settings for a NEW user at First logon. See: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q154529/ It does not change the settings for existing users already using the machine. It would have to be changed in the All Users section of the registry, but I have not investigated if this is possible.

    First, you need to have Admin rights to the computer you are using…it won’t work otherwise…
    To get Windows to remember your preferred keyboard settings do the following: (applies to Windows 9.x, NT4, 2000, XP and I suspect Vista as well, (but as I don’t have Vista yet I haven’t verified this))

    After you have logged in, set your Num-lock the way you like it – do a Alt-Ctrl-Del sequence and select Logout. The trick is the Alt-Ctrl-Del sequence – logging out of Windows using Start-Shutdown-Logout doesn’t cause Windows to remember the keyboard settings, Alt-Ctrl-Del & Logout does (or Shutdown or Restart).

    To get Windows to remember the Keyboard settings for the Logon Screen (before Sign-on), with the Sign-on screen showing on the desktop, set the NumLock the way you want it, and use the option for Shutdown or Restart. As it takes a Alt-Ctrl-Del sequence to get to the logon screen, the Shutdown or Restart will cause Windows to remember you want the NumLock on or off at the Logon Screen.

    I stumbled across this after several months of fruitless searching – Microsoft is wrong, this is just another undocumented feature – they think they know better and override the Bios settings…along with other undocumented features and default settings that frustrate many users.

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